The Year of Miss Agnes

by Kirkpatrick Hill

Fred–short for Frederika--the friendly young narrator of this short, lively... read more

Fred–short for Frederika--the friendly young narrator of this short, lively novel, is a member of an Athabascan Indian village community. It’s 1948, and there’s a new teacher in town. Miss Agnes has been teaching in Alaska for years, but she originally came from England. Maybe that’s what makes her different from all the other teachers. Miss Agnes isn’t bothered by the smell of the fish the children bring to their one-room school for lunch each day, as was Fred’s last teacher. She arranges the desks in a circle. She reads Robin Hood aloud. She has a big map of the world on the wall. With that map, Fred and her classmates begin to see themselves as part of the larger world, and their dreams expand. Miss Agnes is even teaching some of the adults how to read, and she persuades Fred’s mother that Bokko, Fred’s deaf older sister, should be in school. Kirkpatrick Hill’s appealing story tells of a young Native girl and of the committed, creative teacher who respects and clearly comes to love the girl and her community. (Ages 8-11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

show less